Bridgeton based Zoltek Cos. has manufacturing plants in St. Charles and St. Peters, Mo.; Nyergesujfalu, Hungary; Guadalajara, Mexico; and Abilene, Texas. It employs about 530 in North America and 850 in Europe, according to Zoltek's 2012 annual report.
This above is from the article by Greta Weiderman Web Editor- St. Louis Business Journal
Something just doesn't sound right in my opinion
It says that Zoltek employs about 530 in North America and 850 in Europe.
Other-words they have a total of 530 employees all together in 4 North American plants ( St. Charles and St. Peters, Mo; Abilene, Texas and Guadalajara, Mexico; ) but in one single plant in Hungary they are employing 850 people.
I'm Hungarian myself and the location of the plant in Hungary "Nyergesujfalu" is small village with 8,000 inhabitants 18 km west of Esztergom.
Is the plant in Hungary bigger than all the plants in North America combined ?
I'm sorry guys but this is very suspicious to me !!
Anybody can comment on this ?
The plant in Hungary (Magyar Viscosa) used to be owned by the people of Hungary under a socialist government. It was sold to ZOLT with certain conditions attached. One of them was a number of jobs were to stay in Hungary. Magyar Viscosa under the socialist government was responsible for supplying electric power to the town. I don't know if they are still doing that . In return for these concessions ZOLT got a really good deal on the factory. Being a Hungarian himself probably helped a lot.
When ZOLT bought the business they also got a synthetic fiber research department with some highly qualified engineers. To day a lot of the research that drives the company is done there.
ZOLT also got a lot of well educated technicians in the deal . A number of these key people were sent to Texas to teach Texans how to get to work on time every day and do useful work. Zsolt was very disappointed in the work ethic of the Abilene Texas labor force. Labor is relatively cheap in Texas because it is a "right to work" state.
The same Hungarians were sent to Guadalajara to teach Mexicans . Zsolt was pleased with the Mexican work ethic. Labor is real cheap in Mexico because they are ruled by an Olligarki.
I've been inside their site in Nyergesujfalu several times. It is huge and encompasses much more than just carbonization ops. A good part of the town / infrastructure seems part of Zolt's empire. I'm not surprised at the relatively head count there. Labor's cheap also, unlike the US.
As a new investor in ZOLT I just want to learn much as i can about the company. I couldn't believe that the plant in Hungary is that big that employs more people than the 3 existing North American plants and the plant in Mexico combined but if is true do to the cheap labor it can greatly benefit Zoltek's bottom line. As I'm learning carbon fiber is still to expensive to compete with steel and this is a huge obstacle to have a larger use in the auto industry. Therefore cutting corners including savings on labor costs can bring the company in a very competitive position in my opinion.
Also having a big plant in Central Europe it can bring ZOLT's products closer to the European markets.
Thank you guys for giving some answers to my suspicions.